Tonight was one of “those” nights when everybody is ill and getting on everybody else’s nerves.
I think I actually heard my little one say that her brother was breathing her air.
It was more than I could stand.
I thought I was going crazy, but just before I told my family that I was moving to Montana to grow Dental Floss Bushes, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something….
Trust that what Scripture says is true…like when it tells me:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Does this verse apply when my children are fighting over stuff that they don’t even care about?
Does this apply when everyone gets on my nerves, when my feelings are hurt, or I’m misunderstood?
Does it apply when I’m just grumpy?
The verse doesn’t say “Pray about the big stuff.”
It says to present EVERY situation to God.
So, tonight I did.
I ordered my two precious bundles of joy to get their bottoms over to the couch “Before I count to three”, threatened to sell them to the circus if they so much as THOUGHT of touching each other, promised to tape the mouth of the next one that spoke a word, and, with both of them staring at me with that “yep, she’s finally lost it” look in their eyes….I prayed. For their benefit, of course. I prayed because they need to know how to ask for forgiveness. I wanted God to show them where they’re falling short…wanted them to see how “un-Christ like” they were acting.
First, I “confessed” areas where I fall short – so they would be prompted to do the same. I “asked forgiveness” for not trying to be more like Jesus. I asked for guidance and strength, patience, understanding, grace, and mercy. I asked for God to fill me with peace so that our home could be peaceful… and my heart softened. In that moment of “showing my kids”….God showed me the truth about me.
Then I really prayed….open and honest before God….for my children to hear….I confessed my shortcomings, my selfishness, my fear of failure. I asked God to show me where I fall short of His will for me.
I thanked Him for allowing me to be Brian’s mom. I thanked Him for allowing me to be Izzy’s mom. I thanked him for putting our family together. I asked Him to help us all to be examples of His love, mercy, grace, patience and understanding first to each other, then to the outside world. I prayed and prayed and prayed.
Brian and Izzy never got restless, sighed or groaned. I felt their bodies relax as they leaned into my embrace…and when I said “amen”, two sweet voices said “amen” after me…and they just sat on the couch with me….and there was an amazing peace in our home.
Why do I doubt God?
If He says “bring everything to me”, why do I think He only means the big stuff? Honestly, my day to day normal aggravations do more damage to my witness than the “big” things. If I survive today, there will be a whole day’s worth of little things waiting to sabotage me again tomorrow. (Can I get an “Amen”?)
I’ve learned a valuable lesson. When I got past using “prayer” to prove a point (and manipulate my kids) and REALLY prayed for our family….well, I think that…actually, I don’t know what it did exactly…but I do know it was nothing short of amazing.
It softened our hearts toward each other.
We all relaxed.
No one pointed fingers or justified their actions, they simply apologized for not being nice.
Wait….I do know what praying with my kids did…..it brought us into the presence of God…together.
Now that’s good stuff.